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UK, EU Agree On Post-Brexit Trade Agreement For Northern Ireland

The agreement, dubbed the 'Windsor Framework,' was reached in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol, with the goal of easing the trading issues caused by the Protocol

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The United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) have agreed on a new post-Brexit trade arrangement for Northern Ireland.

The agreement, dubbed the 'Windsor Framework,' was reached in response to the Northern Ireland Protocol, with the goal of alleviating the Protocol's trade implications.

After months of negotiations, according to Xinhua, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the agreement on Monday after meeting in Windsor, near London.

“I’m delighted to report that we have made a decisive breakthrough,” Sunak said at a press conference alongside von der Leyen. “We have changed the original Protocol and are announcing the new Windsor Framework today,” Sunak added.

He claimed that the agreement ensures a smooth trade flow within the UK by creating a new Green Lane for goods destined for Northern Ireland, with a separate Red Lane for goods at risk of entering the EU.

Sunak told reporters that the Green Lane will eliminate burdensome customs bureaucracy, which means that food retailers such as supermarkets and restaurants, as well as wholesalers, will no longer need hundreds of certificates for each lorry.

“This means there is no longer any sense of a border in the Irish Sea,” he explained.

The two sides have also amended the Protocol's legal text to ensure that the country can make critical VAT and excise changes for the entire UK, “for example, on alcohol duty, which means our reforms to reduce the cost of a pint in the pub will now apply in Northern Ireland.”

Furthermore, with a medication agreement in place, drugs approved for use by the UK's medicine regulator will be automatically available in every pharmacy and hospital in Northern Ireland.